The Candela Structures

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Origins: The '64 Fair

the three structures at the Fair

The three original structures as viewed from one of the World's Fair Marina docks. The device on the roof of the center pavilion is a radar antenna, which was used by the Coast Guard. (Collection of John Pender)

 

Most of the 1964-65 World's Fair took place in what is now Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. You've probably seen the Unisphere, the New York State Pavilion, and other famous holdovers that were left standing after the Fair.

A mile away, however, the Fair had a lesser-known component: the World's Fair Marina, which allowed boaters to attend the Fair and dock their vessels in Flushing Bay.

It was here, on the Marina's waterfront, that three small, vaguely futurist-looking ļ¬berglass buildings were assembled. One was used as a Coast Guard pavilion; the other two housed exhibits by Johnson Motors and Evinrude Motors.

Photographs of the structures from this period are rare, and most of them don't show all three pavilions (for a long time we weren't sure there had even been a third one). There are also several illustrations indicating that additional structures were planned for the Marina's docks. These were never built, but the illustrations have circulated among World's Fair enthusiasts over the years, leading to confusion and erroneous claims about the structures' history.

 

postcard of the Candela Structures

This illustration was used on a promotional postcard for the Fair. The structures shown on the dock were never built, but the illustration has circulated among World's Fair collectors, creating confusion about how many structures actually existed. (Courtesy of Owens Corning)

 

interior of a Candela Structure during the Fair

The Evinrude Motors pavilion offered mail and message services to Marina customers. This photo, showing a particularly good view of the pavilion's outward-canted walls, offers the best available sense of what a day inside a Candela Structure was like. (Collection of John Pender)

 

interior of a Candela Structure during the Fair

The two outer structures were used as exhibit spaces by Johnson Motors and Evinrude Motors, both of which were divisions of the Outboard Marine Corporation, a primary sponsor of the Marina. (Collection of John Pender)

 

aerial view of the Candela Structures during the Fair

An aerial photo of the World's Fair Marina, with the three Candela pavilions situated along the waterfront. (Courtesy of the Queens Museum of Art)

 

map of the 1964 World's Fair

This map shows the World's Fair Marina at far left, almost as an afterthought to the rest of the Fair. The little crescent of land along Flushing Bay is where the Candela Structures were erected. (Map by General Drafting Co., Inc; collection of Paul Lukas, via eBay)

 

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